Spotlight on American History

Questions and Answer time with a historical figure!

Learn about history by listening to the people who made it.

Your assignment is to collect information on a specific person from the 1950's and 1960's and be "interviewed' by Mr. Graber using your pre-made questions. Your Interview and questions will be recorded and will be used as a way to learn and review the information. We will use this information as a learning tool to help us learn about important people from the 1950's and 1960's.

Guaranteed to be informative and interesting.

So...What is this assignment about.....and what do I need to do?

This assignment requires you to prepare and conduct a personal interview with a significant historical figure from the 1950's and 1960's.

A typical interview would require you to develop a formal conversation between yourself and your "source" to gain information and opinion upon a topic. Your job is much more difficult because the individuals you are expected to interview are dead. This will require you to plan questions, research background information, write questions you would like to ask, conduct the hypothetical interview, then provide the response of the historical figure.

To provide the response for your interview questions, you will be required to research and develop an understanding the person you have selected. Remember, an interview is the formal conversation between a reporter and a source.

Part 1 -- What will it take?

A good interview requires you to do research from secondary sources. We will be researching with books, databases, articles, and documents will be used to develop the background to your historical figure. Once you understand the background of your historical character, you must develop a series of structured questions to ask, then answer from the perspective of that individual.

In preparing the questions, you may wish to use the who, what, when, where, why and how about the historical figure. For example, here are some possible question that could be asked in a hypothetical interview of Adolf Hitler in 1939:

1.What are your plans for the future of Germany?
2. Who would you compare yourself with historically and why?
3. When do you hope to achieve your plans for the future of Germany?
4. Where do you expect to get support for your proposals?
5. Why did you choose the goals you have set for Germany?
6. How do you plan to accomplish all of these plans?

Your questions must have the following as part of your eight questions.

*How do you feel that your contributions to the (1950's -1960's) change or influence the era and or change the past, present, and/or future?

**How would you like people to remember you?

Need help thinking of questions? Clink this link below.


Part 2 -- Research and Discovery

Research your person. Note that we will be using the library on the long hour days.

Included is the bio-sheet that will help you locate information that can be used as part of your questions.

Download this to your computer. You will be turning in a copy of this with your final questions and written questions.

Part 3 - Questions/Answers and Recording of the Interview.

Once you have been assigned your individual, you must prepare eight (8) structured questions to ask them. Once you have developed the questions, you must become the historical figure under question and provide the answers to the questions. This will require you to research primary and secondary sources to find historically accurate and believable answers. The answers should reflect the way the individual would think and act as if they were face to face with you. The entire interview should be 500 to 800 words in length, and should include a complete bibliography using MLA documentation.

We will record the interview using five of your eight questions in class. You will also need to sear some sort of identifiable item that distinguishes you as your character. This can be a piece of clothing, item that they were/are famous for, and/or other items.

At your interview, you will have your pre-made questions and answers to use as crib notes and to help you along the way. Have fun!